The NBC comedy Community is a spoof on community college.  It’s a great, even if fictitious, example of how we humans are a social creature.  We are so diverse, yet the majority of us find comfort and support from others.  It’s why we gather around the water cooler, post on Facebook, tweet, and hit happy hour.  Whether it’s comparing stories from work, trading diet tips, or bragging about your kid’s latest feat, we can’t help but share.  Some are more outgoing than others, sharing with everyone including the unwitting Walmart greeter.  Some are more introverted, only exposing themselves to those they trust most.

Why am I rambling on about something so obvious, especially in the age of “social media”?  The communities you participate in can serve as more than mere sounding boards.  They can be sources of encouragement and support.  They can be sources of examples when treading new ground.  They can even spur on competition, a great motivational tool to help you reach your goals.  Of course, that’s assuming you share your goals with others.

Why do we keep our goals to ourselves?  Fear of failure.  If we don’t announce our intentions, there’s no shame if we quit or fail.  It’s easy to pretend we were never trying.

What goals did you set last year?  Did you reach them?  Did you tell anyone about them, regardless of the outcome?

What if this year, you set a reasonable goal?  Something attainable.  Something measureable.  Something to which others can hold you accountable.  Something that can be a fun competition with others.  Something with which others can help guide you.

There are plenty of online resources for you to find a community with similar goals (or even just someone who will root you on).  I have found several by networking on Twitter.  If you’re into anything related to fitness and athletics, you might try Fitocracy.   This site takes the competitive and supportive online community a step further.  It’s a role playing game (RPG) where you are the character who levels up for every activity you log that progresses your fitness.

Maybe fitness isn’t your thing.  There are other sites that more generically support all resolutions, like 43things.  I haven’t used that site, but the point is that if you spend a little time searching your interest, you’re bound to find a community for support, guidance, competition, and most importantly, accountability.

So try something new and share your goals with a  friend (or a stranger).  I’ll practice what I preach in a follow-up post.

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NASA ExtraVehicular Activity (EVA) Flight Controller and Instructor, House DJ, Strength & Fitness Training

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